Getting Started

What is a community college and why are more students turning to them? Who are some of the most famous community college graduates? Here you’ll find the answers to these questions and more.
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Community colleges have traditionally received a bad reputation for the quality of education they provide, but is that reputation really well founded? While not all community colleges are created equal to be sure, many are working hard to provide a high quality education to their students, with a wealth of degree options in fields looking for skilled workers.  To ensure the education at community college remains top-rated, benchmarks are being put into place to hold schools accountable for their performance and help students make the best choice in schools for their specific needs.

The Spotlight on Community Colleges
 
Community colleges have come under increased scrutiny in recent years, thanks to the Obama administration. When President Obama announced his lofty goal to significantly increase the number of college graduates in this country by 2020, he raised community colleges up as an important tool in meeting his goal – an action that community colleges have both lauded and feared. As more people turn to community colleges as a way to achieve a higher education, focus on these schools also involves evaluating the quality of education received.
 
Today, it is not enough for community colleges to boast they are the institutions that put students first. They must go beyond their history of innovative curriculum and teaching strategies to accurately measure how well those strategies actually work. Even without sufficient budgets or tools to meet the requirements of their students, these schools are now on the hot seat to find ways to . . . read more

When President Obama took office in 2009, he adopted the ambitious goal of raising college graduation rates in America to 60 percent, which translates to five million additional college graduates by the year 2020. Achieving this lofty goal has already proven to be easier said than done, as the cost of education continues to increase across the country. This month, the President called a meeting with college officials, who were invited to the White House to discuss with the President how to make college less expensive and more productive. The task is far from small, as there are many issues that must be addressed before Washington will see an improvement to the current state of the community college system.

The Latest Meeting
 
According to a report at Inside Higher Ed, the latest meeting between President Obama and college leaders was unusual on three counts. First, the meeting was called rather last minute, with college officials scrambling somewhat to make it to Washington for their appointment. Second, the meeting was held behind closed doors, without journalists or others privy to the information that was shared.  Finally, the meeting was attended by the President himself, instead of a representative from the President’s staff, as is the norm with most meetings of this nature.
 
The Washington meeting was well-attended, with representatives from large state systems, private institutions and a community college system in attendance. The three representatives from state systems included Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York; Francisco Cigarroa, . . . read more

The latest President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is out. and some of the community colleges that made the grade are making repeat appearances on the list. These schools have showed exemplary performance in the area of civic engagement and community service. The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was first established in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service to recognize schools of higher education that go above and beyond their basic educational responsibilities to serve their surrounding communities more effectively. We'll take a closer look at this prestigious honor, as well as some of the community colleges that made the grade this year.
 
About the Honor Roll
 
Since he took office, President Obama has issued a national call to service as a major cause for his administration. The president wanted to acknowledge the schools of higher education around the country that went the extra mile to meet the needs of their communities and find solutions to common social problems. As a result, the President's Honor Roll for Community Service was created. Appointees for the annual honor roll are chosen through the work of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Contact and the American Council on Education.
 
There are many factors that go into the selection of colleges and universities for the honor roll. According to the website for the Corporation for National and Community Service, some of the features schools must . . . read more

A community college (also known as a junior college) is a higher education institution that provides a two year curriculum that can include leading to an associate’s degree. Other programs in place include a transfer program towards a four year degree and occupational programs (one and two year programs of study). Besides coursework focusing on academic programs, courses are also often offered at the community college for personal growth or development.
 
Historically, community colleges sprang up in the early 20th century as a way to meet young adults’ needs who did not or could not afford to leave their families to pursue further education. Early on, many community colleges helped support African Americans and women who wanted to go to college. Many students prepared for grammar school teaching positions or enrolled in new vocational education programs in community colleges. These smaller schools were developed locally, in communities, further distinguishing them from typical four year schools which had campuses where students needed to leave home and stay in student dorms. 
 
Traditionally, the community college student went to school to pick up a two year degree. Now it is quite common for community college students to continue on in their education within a four year college (thus transferring their community college credits).
 
What can you study at a Community College?
 
Many of the subjects taught in a four year college are also taught in a community college. Most students attending community colleges pursue the following endeavors:
  • Associate degrees (Two year degrees).
  • Transfer Programs.A transfer program is . . . read more
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Why Community College

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